The West’s SWIFT Threat and Russia’s Possible Response

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by Gordon M. Hahn

Some Western sources have been floating the idea of cutting Russia off from the SWIFT inter-banking mechanism. This step could be aking to cutting off oil supplies to Imperial Japan and lead to a similar result, though one not necessarily initiated by Russia but rather by the forces on the ground in Ukraine: the Ukrainian or Donbass forces.

Russia will be sure to retaliate harshly, as Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned today: “…(O)ur economic reaction and in general any other will be unlimited” [Дмитрий Медведев: «…наша экономическая реакция, да и вообще всякая другая, будет без ограничений» (]. What steps might Moscow take? The menu looks something like this:

  • Call in Ukraine’s $3b debt
  • reduce oil supplies to Europe
  • accelerate the BRICS-based and China-allied de-dollarization, separate financial system, and BRICS’s own rating agencies
  • increase already high level of gold purchases
  • perhaps increase military assistance to Donbass rebels
  • and perhaps undertake a military buildup in Crimea and along Ukrainian southeastern border.

Big war will be on the horizon.

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